Having a good quality zester on hand can make preparing meals at home easier. Need to zest a lemon, garlic, nutmeg, cinnamon, or chocolate, as a few examples? With a handheld zester, you can get it done fast, and you can add a lot of flavor to meals and desserts.
What are some of the zesters we recommend? Below are several of the many products from well-known brands that we think are worth considering, so you can start shopping today!
Top Pick Best Overall: Microplane Premium Classic Series Zester Grater
First up on our list is the Microplane Premium Classic Series Zester Grater, which, at the time of this writing, has a 4.8 star rating on Amazon. Not bad! This product is affordably priced and comes in a wide range of colors and designs so you can choose the one you like best.
This popular brand has created a zester that is super sharp, so you don’t need to work hard at all to get great results when preparing meals at home. Microplane also uses photo-etched technology and surgical grade stainless steel to ensure this zester will remain sharp for a long time, and to ensure it will remain rust-free as well. Plus, the blades are made in the United States.
You can use this product to zest a variety of ingredients, such as ginger, garlic, cinnamon, cheese, and citrus fruits. To help protect your countertops from being damaged during use, this zester features tabs on the end. Then, when you need to clean it, it’s so easy to do because this zester is dishwasher safe. And the stainless steel is magnetic, so you can even hang it on a magnetic strip with your kitchen knives if you wish.
- It is designed to zest or grate your ingredients in a way that will not rip, bruise, or tear them apart.
- It features surgical grade stainless steel, photo-etching, and a soft touch handle, so you can use it comfortably while applying less pressure.
- It comes in a variety of colors, it is easy to use, and it is dishwasher safe.
- It is wise to exercise caution when using this zester because it is so sharp and might end up cutting your skin by accident.
- It measures 12” long, so if you are looking for a smaller zester, this one may not be right for you.
Top Pick Best Handheld Zester: Microplane Flexi Zesti Handheld Citrus Zester
When you want a mini zester, check out this handheld citrus zester from Microplane. It measures 2.5” x 2” x 1.5”, and it features a sharp zesting blade and flexible silicone that is BPA free and will flex with pressure. To use it, you just glide it over a citrus fruit easily, without needing to apply a lot of pressure.
Designed to help you get the most zest with every stroke, the zest will fall from the blade into the chamber that is under the blade, so there is no mess. Then, just pop off the blade to get to the zest inside. Easy enough!
In addition to the sharp teeth and the brand’s photo-etching technology, this product features a small, round, ergonomic shape that will fit in your hand nicely to make zesting a snap. Overall, the design makes it easy to use and control this zester while you are working on preparing ingredients for your favorite recipes.
- It features a sharp stainless steel blade that is made in the USA.
- It is dishwasher safe for easy cleaning.
- It is compact and fits in your hand nicely for ease of use.
- It is available in multiple colors, such as yellow, orange, and green.
- It might be too compact for some people.
- Some individuals might find it awkward to use.
- It collects the zest inside a small chamber, so if that is not something that you’d prefer, this product wouldn’t be right for you.
Top Pick Best Zester with Channel Knife: OXO Good Grips Lemon Zester with Channel Knife
If you would prefer a zester that also has a channel knife built in, we think it’s worth checking out the OXO Good Grips Lemon Zester with Channel Knife. It boasts a soft handle that is non-slip, so it will be easy to use and nice and secure in your hands while you work on zesting your ingredients. Plus, it has a tough stainless steel head that will make it simple to zest a variety of foods.
In addition to zesting ingredients with ease, this product’s channel knife also makes the process of cutting twists simple. These can be used to create attractive garnishes for your meals and drinks.
What’s nice about the comfortable handle is that it’s soft and easy to hold without tension because it’s able to absorb pressure. It also makes it easy to hold this zester when your hands are oily or wet. So, this can be a good choice for those who tend to have trouble holding other zesters.
- It allows you to do two tasks with one handy tool: zesting and cutting decorative garnishes.
- It is ergonomically designed to be easy to grip, hold, and use daily by putting less pressure on your hands.
- It is dishwasher safe, so you don’t have to worry about cleanup.
- If you prefer sliding your ingredients over a zester, this product won’t be right for you.
- If you don’t need the channel knife, it will be an extra feature that you won’t end up using.
Top Pick Best Etched Zester: HAOZAN Zester and Grater
This product helps you quickly and easily zest everything from garlic and ginger, to chocolate, cheese, and, of course, citrus fruits like lemons, limes, and oranges.
This zester features an etched stainless steel grating that is super sharp, so you don’t need to use a lot of pressure or spend a lot of time getting your zesting tasks done when cooking at home. And, when not in use, you can use the snap-on cover to protect the grating surface and your hands.
Because of its design, this zester can be used easily over a cutting board or a bowl. As you slide your ingredient over the blade, whether it’s ginger or a citrus fruit, the zest will fall out from under it, so it will land on your cutting board or in your bowl.
We also like that this product has a non-slip handle that is soft and comfortable to grip. And, while you are grating, you can rely on the non-slip foot to help you stay in control, as well as prevent messes and cuts to your skin.
- It features a non-slip foot, etched stainless steel blade, a soft handle, and a protective cover.
- It is dishwasher safe to make cleanup a snap.
- It has a blade that is designed to stay sharp.
- It can be used to create a fine zest.
- Some customers have reviewed it stating that it doesn’t zest as well as they would like.
- It might not be right for you if you don’t like a fine zest.
Top Pick Best Zester/Grater Combo: Deiss PRO Citrus Zester & Cheese Grater
Would you prefer a product that allows you to do both zesting and grating? Then check out this option from Deiss. It measures 15.2” x 2.13” x 1.42”, the sharp blade is rectangular and made of stainless steel, and it will not rust. Plus, it has a non-slip handle that makes it comfortable and easy to use, and the curved sides make it easy to apply pressure whenever you need to do so for the best results.
Like the other zesters on this list, this one is designed to give you zest without pith, and it can be used for more than just citrus fruits, so it is a good tool to have on hand when preparing a wide range of recipes in your own kitchen.
The teeth on this zester are designed in a way that they won’t become clogged, and this product is easy to clean too. The rubber at the end of it helps protect whatever surface you rest it on when zesting, and it also helps ensure the zester will stay in place during use rather than slipping. Plus, the handy safety cover helps ensure the blade, as well as your hands, will be protected when you store this zester in between uses.
- It is affordably priced.
- It features durable stainless steel that will not rust, along with a hard steel frame that helps keep it from bending.
- It is ergonomically designed and has a sharp blade to reduce the amount of effort that’s needed when zesting or grating,
- If you don’t like using a zester with a long blade, this one probably isn’t right for you.
- Some customers found it hard to use this product to get the results they wanted.
Best Wide Zester: AmazonCommercial Stainless Steel Fine Grater / Zester, Wide Blade
For those who would prefer a zester with a wider blade, this one from AmazonCommercial might be just what you are looking for. It measures 12.5” x 3.35” x 1.35”, and it has stainless steel blades that are sharp and make it easy to zest and grate your favorite ingredients, such as chocolate, citrus fruits, ginger, coconut, and cheese.
This product boasts a design that makes it comfortable to use, with an ergonomic handle that is made of durable stainless steel and a silicone foot that helps it remain securely in place. This should help you maintain a strong and stable grip during use, which is something you definitely want, especially with a larger blade surface.
- It has a stainless steel frame, stainless steel blades, and a stainless steel handle.
- It comes with a plastic cover that you can use to protect your hands and the blade when you put it away in between uses.
- It is BPA free and dishwasher safe.
- If you want a more compact zester, this one likely isn’t going to be what you are looking for.
- Customer reviews include complaints about the protective cover, and some find that the zest sticks to the blade too much.
Things to look out for:
Although it might seem like all zesters are the same, there are some things you can look for as you shop. Doing so will help you make the right choice. For example, you can keep the following in mind as you browse your options:
Consider the size of the holes in the zester. The smaller the holes, the finer the zest will be. So, if you are looking for a fine zest, look for a product that will deliver those results.
Also, check out how easy a zester will be to clean. As you probably imagine, it can be hard to get all of those tiny holes clean. So, if a product is designed to be easy to wash by hand, and if you can toss it in the dishwasher to make cleanup a breeze, that’s definitely a plus.
When it comes to using a zester, it can be difficult to get the right leverage if the product isn’t designed to be easy and comfortable to hold. So, check out the handle on a product before you buy it. Make sure you’ll be able to maintain a firm hold on it so you won’t risk cutting yourself while you zest. A non-slip, ergonomic, soft handle is usually a smart way to go. A product with non-slip feet is also going to help ensure you can keep the product firmly in place while you zest.
Zesters come in various sizes, from those that are compact to those that are quite long. The longer the blade, though, the more zest you can get with just a single stroke, so that’s something to think about because it can help do more in less time and with less effort.
Finally, we recommend sticking with sharp stainless steel blades for zesting, as these are designed to be durable. And if a product comes with a sheath that you can place over the blade to protect it when you need to store your zester in between uses, that’s great too.
Photo credit: Candice Bell/Shutterstock